The Ghana AIDS Commission has bemoaned the lack of nutritional support given to chronically ill inmates of various prisons in the country.
According to the Commission it has noticed that inmates who are on prescribed medication are unable to take their drugs due to insufficient food and other food supplements which have to be taken with the drugs.
Currently all inmates in the country are fed on GHC 1.80 pesewas daily, an amount the Commission describes as negligible for the care of chronically ill inmates.
The Eastern Regional Technical Coordinator of the Technical Support Unit for the Ghana AIDS Commission, Madame Golda Asante, in an interview with Citi News, indicated that other inmates could potentially be at risk if chronically ill inmates are not supported to take their medications.
“We have been working with the prisons for some years now with psychosocial counselling to every inmate but we have noticed that there are some inmates who are terminally ill, we looked at their situation and we noticed that the GHC 1.80 pesewas they are fed with on daily basis is not enough.
“When you look at some of the conditions of the sick inmates and their nutritional challenges you will know it is a big issue managing these chronically ill inmates,” she revealed.
Golda Asante added that the inmates “need good nutritional support to encourage them take their medications, for the chronically ill inmates they have so many conditions confronting them but unfortunately the GHC 1.80p for breakfast, lunch and supper will not motivate them enough to take their medications. Some of them refuse to take their medications because of the reactions and weakness they feel after taking the drugs. Even though they appreciate the essence of getting well, they cannot take the drugs on an empty stomach.”
“The physician assistant who takes care of them has to go chasing them to come for their drugs which most of them revealed to him they can’t take because they will go hungry. So, this has been a big challenge to them and us as a commission.”
Madam Golda Asante, who noted how the AIDS Commission managed to support some chronically ill inmates at the Koforidua prisons, called on the government and private entities to also support the inmates to help improve their health conditions.
“Recently with the help of our technical partners from Bread and Roses in Philadelphia USA and Matthew 25 we managed to support 12 chronically ill inmates at Koforidua prisons with GH¢5,000 and some bags of rice.
“Believe you me, after 6 months when we came to have an impact assessment we realized that the weaker inmates have regained strength because they ate well and concentrated on taking their medications.
“Those who were looking bad are all looking good now. I’m calling on all well-meaning Ghanaians to come and support these inmates, no amount is small so whatever money you have you can make it available to our unit and we will support a worthy cause”.
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